Monday, October 03, 2011

Buddy Statements

We have received a lot of comments about Buddy Statements. We thought it advisable to clear that matter up.

We raised the issue of Buddy Statements simply as a precaution so that if and when your Regional Office demands proof that you were on board your ship for the '...48 hour period when the ship was in Territorial Waters...' [this is an example], you will be prepared with that proof in the form of a buddy statement.

Buddy statements are an acceptable form of verification in the absence of any other.

Your experience will vary from Regional Office to Regional Office, as there is no standardization on how claims are handled. Someone rated 100% in one office, will only get 70% in another state, and 20% in a third Regional Office and denial in four or five others. Apparently, within the DVA's rating system there is no Rosetta Stone.

Better to have this in hand than to search around trying to find some shipmates if and when the VA demands it.

Buddy statements are simple. All it amounts to is a clear, concise statement that says something like this example:

"I hereby state that Sonarman Second Class John Q. Public was serving on board the USS Reluctant* during the period 8 October to 13 October, 1969, and did not leave the ship during that time."

You can get this notarized [don't sign it until you are told to by the Notary Public!] or not, but they will carry more weight if you do.

Make sure you send only a copy. You should have your claim number on the page, too.

Obviously, your ship's Association website would be the place to start to search for a shipmate who was aboard when you were. If you have a cruise book, use it to help direct your search.

[Note: USS Reluctant* was the fictional ship on which the film "Mister Roberts" was centered. Place your ship's name in place of that.]


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